Dorothea Kopp and Hugo Ruiz, ENSAD, Paris
In deep respect for the architectural and cultural context of the Grand Concourse, we see our project as a giant sublimating sculpture. It consists of floor patterns invading the length of the street, creating, by extrusion, elements of urban furniture that can be used in the most imaginative way.
Our intervention consists of a floor pattern from which we create elements of urban furniture. These do not induce certain functions, but rather invite the passerby to imagine varied uses. They can be personal as resting or sunbathing, or can be applied at a larger scale, creating green spaces, art spaces, or public meeting places. Our intervention is a base for restructuring and unifying the urban elements of the Concourse. It involves the reconfiguration of flux, reclaiming space for passersby by expanding the sidewalks to the current medians. The formal language of the pattern responds to the architectural context of the Grand Concourse, while maintaining an abstract approach to ornament that does not subscribe to a defined style. It’s ornamental character creates a unique identity and allows the inhabitants to transpose their neighborhood’s cultural values onto the space itself.
For the inhabitants, the intervention creates a new, enriched streetscape. By extending the interior space of each building onto the exterior, it facilitates a bond between individual and communal space, creating nodes of interaction throughout the community. The intervention imbues a re-centered value into properties on the Grand Concourse and its adjacent neighborhoods.
Although the Boulevard has become a deserted passageway, this intervention brings the individual back into communal space, reaffirming the initial concept of the Grand Concourse as a French Boulevard. It invites the people of the Bronx to rediscover and enjoy the rich cultural and architectural context of the Grand Concourse, reinventing the urban promenade, changing the pace.